Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The heavy rainfall stubbornly accompanies my wife, young adult son and daughter, and me on this, our third of a dozen days in Hawaii. The irony doesn't escape us--we left an unusually mild and sunny Seattle only to enter an extremely wet and somewhat flooded Kauai.

Still, it has been a wonderful complement to the inclement island weather to spend indoor time visiting with loved ones, some of whom I have not seen for twelve years.

In the case of my beautiful grandsons, yesterday was the first time I had ever met them.

Eleven-year-old Keawe (kay-AH-vay), tall and slender with handsome features leaning more towards his mother's Japanese heritage, has a gentle and settled disposition. His lively soon-to-be-8-year-old sibling, Kainoa, darker-complexioned and equally becoming, reveals the rest of the ethnic mix on his rascal facial canvas--Hawaiian, Portugese, Filipino, and Okinawan...each ancestral link evident to the careful observer depending on Kainoa's current emotion.

From left to right:  Kainoa, Dylan, Amber, and Keawe
(Photo courtesy of Ryan)
For several years, my son, Richie, a Hawaii resident, has faithfully sent me photos of my grandsons. I have cherished each and every photo, simultaneously marveling at how these beautiful children are growing up while pining over missed opportunities to see them in person.

Yesterday, then, while the rain diligently fell over the emerald Garden Island, I finally got to meet the grandsons I had fallen in love with over a decade ago.

Honoring the pre-pubescent shyness of Keawe, I occasionally asked him questions about school, favorite activities, interests, and if he had a girlfriend. His answers were short as he concentrated on finding the shy housecat that had been eluding his brother, cousin, and him.  His broad shoulders and long feet were evidence of the growth spurt he is currently experiencing. When next I see him, he may very well be taller than me.

There was one moment when I caught Keawe by surprise, picked him up, put him over my shoulders, and swung him around for a few seconds. It was at once a meager attempt on my part to make up for a million grandpa moments and the culmination of a million I love you, firstborn grandchild! sentiments.

Outside, while the incessant drizzle continued, Kainoa and I tossed the football to each other.  I had seen Kainoa in action as a youth league quarterback on some YouTube videos Richie had sent me, but now I was able to experience firsthand the exhilaration of catching his surprisingly tight spirals.  He has an amazingly strong arm for his diminutive frame.  And his accuracy is immaculate.  He moves with a quickness, fluidity, and grace that is evident on athletes much older than him.  I shudder to think what results will emerge in just a few years.

"Who taught you to throw like this?"  I asked him in awe.  Without hesitation, he replied,  "Dad."  I was touched by and impressed with Kainoa's response. 

I was happy to observe my son and daughter engaging in conversation and fun activities with both grandsons.   It delighted me to see this interplay.  There was healing.  There was forgiveness.  There was joy!

From left to right:  Dylan, Keawe, Ryan, and Kainoa
(Photo courtesy of Amber)
The rain has momentarily stopped as I come to the end of this post.  Overhead, the sky is opaquely gray and promises to weep again at any moment.  I am familiar with this grayness.  It has indelibly marked my heart over the last five-plus decades. 

Finally, however, I sense a patch of blue that is both promising and hopeful. 

It is my earnest prayer that the azure will soon overwhelm the gray.

Hidden Kauai: Including Hanalei, Princeville, and Poipu (Hidden Travel)

my Grandson Photo Frame

The Keawe Name in History

YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day

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